The Rhino by Tyrel Kessinger


Kenya Photo/ Stuart Price

The Rhino
The rhino stands stoically,
as if he was Epictetus come again
and not just an uninteresting attraction.
It looks as if a God of the earth underneath
wretched up debris lodged in her Granite craw.
The end result:
the Rhinocerotidae no longer a scratch in her throat
but a living hide of tangible starpowder.
I don’t think it’s strange at all
to imagine that the tree he doesn’t stand under
–the one that cloaks a third of his enclosure in curtainous shade–
was his favorite place to stand with her.
Another melancholy tidbit of backstory:
he didn’t know why she left, only that she did.
But there he is. In the sun. Not any prettier
just because he’s bathed in a lightness.
He pines like the rest of us.
Stubborn to fact that is henceforth eternal. Riddled with guilt.
Willing to punish himself in exchange for repentance.
I also don’t think it’s strange at all
if you see only the creature,
poised, waiting statue silent.
Not knowing what he’s waiting for,
not at all expecting time to pick up and run the other way.
Tyrel Kessinger lives and writes in Louisville, Ky. He enjoys comic books, obscure NWOBHM bands, guitars and anything else that prevents the onset of true adulthood. His work can be found in Gargoyle, Word Riot, Prick of the Spindle and most recently The Sandy River Review.

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